Augmented reality isn’t just for gaming. While Pokemon Go! may have introduced the average person to this developing technology, it by no means represents its sole use.
It’s no secret that AR is already transforming a wide range of industries. With technology improving, it’s highly likely that people in various fields will discover new applications for it. In the meantime, the following examples demonstrate the major ways professionals in four major sectors are already experimenting with this new tool:
Keeping Drivers Safe on the Road
Although AR is definitely a cutting-edge technology that tends to impress consumers who use AR-based products, there are some reasons consumers might not be ready to embrace it wholeheartedly just yet.
One of them is the current state of AR-friendly devices. AR works by superimposing virtual elements onto the real world displayed on a device’s screen. While this can be done with a tablet or smartphone, certain immersive AR experiences require wearing headsets. Some consumers aren’t willing to adopt that kind of new technology at the moment.
However, using AR in cars could demonstrate the value of this technology to such consumers. AR can be specifically engineered to display important information on a driver’s windshield. Instead of having to look away from the road to get info about their current speed, GPS navigation, traffic conditions and more, drivers can remain focused on what’s in front of them.
This application has the potential to boost driver safety. By introducing consumers to new applications for AR in which their windshields serve as screens (instead of requiring them to wear headsets), it can also encourage more people to begin using the technology on a regular basis.
Boosting Manufacturing Efficiency
Companies are also using AR to improve their behind-the-scenes operations. For instance, it’s growing more and more apparent that AR can be used in manufacturing plants to help employees work more accurately, safely and efficiently.
Imagine a plant employee is assembling a complex product. Without AR, they may need to regularly check a set of physical instructions to determine the next step in the process, which slows productivity over time.
It’s also not a problem with AR. By wearing AR headsets, employees can call up virtual instructions whenever necessary. They can even remotely connect with other workers in other parts of the plant, getting virtual instruction from a coworker when they need additional assistance. Companies using AR in this capacity are likely to see major productivity and quality control gains as a result.
AR has the potential to improve healthcare in several ways. First, it allows for dynamic, easily-accessible surgeon training. When patients are actually undergoing surgical procedures, it can also boost their safety by allowing surgeons to view vital information without looking away from the operating table.
AR may also help doctors monitor patients remotely. This is helpful when patients have limited mobility and struggle to reach clinics for appointments.
For example, maybe a patient has been equipped with a new medical device to help them manage a chronic condition. If they forget how to use it correctly, they may not need to visit their doctor. They can simply reach out to them via a mobile device. With AR, the doctor can remotely demonstrate how to use the product.
Facilitating Military Operations
The military is yet another sector where AR can be dramatically valuable.
Consider how it may be used in military operations. Troops on the ground often use information provided by drones and satellites to safely navigate combat zones. AR-friendly headsets could superimpose that information directly onto the troops’ surroundings, boosting their safety and performance.
Additionally, some have suggested the military may use AR when developing training programs. This helps them save money while also providing troops with more engaging opportunities to hone their skills. Troops can simply access the relevant training programs when they need to. In many cases, there is no need for a human supervisor to lead the training session.
Again, these examples don’t come close to illustrating all the potential uses for AR. They simply illustrate how it is useful across a range of different industries. Whether you’re a driver, manufacturing plant employee, patient or member of the armed forces, AR is poised to change your life in many positive ways.